Most people experience stomach burns from time to time – this painful and inflamed feeling in the chest after polishing a fat, fatty meal, also known as acid reflux. What exactly is ? "Basically, reflux is the gastric juice that goes from the stomach to the esophagus or higher," says Kevin Ghassemi, MD, gastroenterologist and assistant director of clinical programs at the Center for Disorders. the esophagus of UCLA. (Your esophagus is the canal that connects your throat to your stomach.)
This undesirable reflux of gastric juice can occur for several reasons. Being overweight or obese can create "abdominal pressure" that forces food to move up the esophagus, says Dr. Ghassemi. Or sometimes, taking certain medications (such as pain relievers, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers or antidepressants) can cause dysfunction of the valve that connects your stomach and your esophagus, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Disease. digestive and renal . When this happens, the contents of the stomach can migrate into the esophagus, where they do not belong, says Dr. Ghassemi.
If you suffer from acid reflux more than twice a week, you could be among the one in five people in the United States who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with GERD are usually prescribed proton pump inhibitors (brand names include Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, among others), which block the production of stomach acids.
If you do not want to rely on drugs, experts say are natural remedies for acid reflux that can also provide relief. We will get to these home remedies in a minute. But first, an important warning: If what you are trying does not work, that is if your stomach burns or other symptoms persist, you should inform your doctor.
"People think that heartburn can have very serious consequences," says Bruce Greenwald, MD, a gastroenterologist, and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Reflux is the number one risk factor for cancer of the esophagus. It can also cause scarring and narrowing of the esophagus, as well as breathing problems – including asthma – and the loss of tooth enamel, warns Dr. Greenwald. So, do not ignore your reflux symptoms; tell your doctor.
This warning aside, here are six home remedies for acid reflux that health experts say are worth trying.